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CD Review

Renaissance Choral Works

Raven 998
  • Cristóbal de Morales:
  • Magnificat Secundi Toni
  • Missa "Mille Regretz"
  • Pastores Dicite
  • Tu es Petrus
  • Veni Domine
  • Antonio de Cabzón:
  • Motete glosado "Ave Maria" de Josquin des Prés" *
  • Benedictus de la missa l'homme arne *
  • Differencias sobre "La Dama de Demanda" *
  • Josquin Des Préz: Mille Regretz
* Jeremy Filsell, organ
Videntes/Jeremy Fisell
Raven OAR-998
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Also available on SACD:

This is a delightful program of mostly Morales. Videntes is the Scola Cantorum of The Church of the Epiphany in Washington, DC. Why they chose to record at St. Patrick's Catholic Church is anybody's guess, but they did use the 2014 chamber organ from Epiphany. It's a delightful three-stop instrument that graces Jeremy Filsell's distinguished organ interludes. Those interludes, as well as a chanson that shares a name with the Morales Missa, are composed by contemporaries.

The choir is beautifully recorded and blended, and the only thing one could complain about is a slight lack of contrast. Those who don't usually gravitate toward early choral music might find this slightly monotonous, but unfortunately the same could possibly be said for those who do. The organ pieces do help to diversify the program, and Filsell is equally comfortable in front of a choir as behind the organ console.

Ultimately this is a disc for those looking to explore the Spanish choral and keyboard traditions more deeply. It's certainly a niche item, but choral fans will be happy to have these selections. As if to prove the disc is for specialists, the texts are all included in Latin and English, but in no order or with any kind of labeling. This is an intriguing, but not essential item.

Copyright © 2017, Brian Wigman